Marty Stock, who left FCB and took MillerCoors along with him in 2012, will be working with Y&R Chicago for the second time in his career.
Stock will continue to serve as CEO of Cavalry, the dedicated agency he founded to handle the MillerCoors business. A statement we received from Y&R today confirms earlier reports that he will also lead that agency’s Chicago office:
“Marty Stock, who is CEO of WPP’s Cavalry, will now also provide local management leadership for Y&R Chicago, as John Fraser leaves to pursue other interests.”
Fraser came to Y&R just over a year ago to serve as president after leading mcgarrybowen’s Windy City office, and he was let go by global CEO David Sable this morning. We followed up to clarify the title issue with Y&R, which confirmed that Stock will indeed serve as chief executive officer at both operations.
The initial story read like the two agencies would become one, and that made sense given that Cavalry lost its primary client last summer when Coors launched a review and eventually sent its various brands to different agencies including 72andSunny, Venables Bell & Partners and Mekanism in Chicago. The split followed a somewhat tumultuous period in which Cavalry fired CCO Jim Larmon (he’s now with SPM Marketing) and Coors Light rejected an entire campaign…just as it later did with VB&P’s first efforts for the Leinenkugel’s brand.
It’s a little unusual for one man to be CEO at two shops in the same city at the same time, but Y&R told us that “there is no plan to merge the agencies.” Seems like someone wasn’t planning to announce this news today.
After losing Miller last August, Cavalry posted what read like a requiem on its homepage. But the agency had picked up work beyond its primary client, and a quick glance at its site today includes mentions of several smaller new clients like American Freedom Foundation and Aidell’s Sausage along with one very big win: RJ Reynolds. (Perhaps Cavalry will be teaming up with Havas Chicago’s Millennial research division Annex on that account.)
Cavalry has yet to announce the hiring of a new chief creative officer, and it’s not clear at this moment how the two teams working under Stock will collaborate. But surely they will, no?